MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Valentine’s Day presents endless possibilities to impress the one you love. Leslie Lampert, the founder and owner of Café of Love and Ladle of Love in Mount Kisco, suggests what she says is a simple, yet effective way to cook for your special someone.
“I’m thinking in terms of easy and something that you both can eat," she said, adding that cooking a meal is the gift that keeps on giving. “A seafood stew is romantic and luxurious and figure-friendly, so to speak, and it also is delicious at night and the next night.”
A stew, she said, is an easy fix for even the simplest of chefs because it is low maintenance but highly effective selection. “Some clams, mussels, cod and shrimp, and a heady kind of broth with white wine, saffron and orange peel,” Lampert suggested as key ingredients. “And it’s 'non-screw-up-able.' It’s really hard to mess up a stew, because it needs to cook and simmer for a period of time, and the more it cooks at a simmer the better it gets.”
One of the reasons for the dish's simplicity is the fact that it can take as much time as you want, which is something that a meal in a man’s usual diet might not have, she said.
“Every guy knows how to grill a steak. But timing that – along with the asparagus and the potatoes, or pasta, etc. – makes some novice cooks nervous about the timing,” she said. “So it’s nice to have a stew that’s a one-pot meal. You can have it simmer and you can even have a little romance while it’s cooking.”
Along with the seafood, you can make a light salad with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. For dessert, she suggested including along the lines of chocolate-covered strawberries, store-bought or homemade. She also noted that a “Rose Prosecco” for drink would be cost efficient as well as tasty since champagne is a costly choice for some couples.
The main component of this dish, Lampert said, is sharing and cooking the meal together. The final ingredient, though, is what will be added every day after Feb. 14.
“The biggest ingredient is to make sure you tell her that she’s fabulous, not just on Valentine’s Day,” she said.